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Digital Disruption: Every Company Is at Risk, Says Red Hat’s Dawson

Digital Disruption

… tying everything together. We’ve had chief digital officers, but they tended to focus more on the e-commerce motion. If you think about digital literally being that entire universe, and how you tie all of these pieces together, and bring in big data and analytics, and all those things, I think it is a powerful [role].

However, to stave off disruption and to truly have this digital transformation, the entire organization needs to change the way they’re doing things.

IT needs to change, the business needs to change; there’s this transformation that needs to happen culturally, across processes, across resources — and how you are using those resources. It’s a multifaceted transformation that needs to happen and that touches everything. So that person may be the driver of some of those things, but the CIO is critical and so is everybody else.

CP: What key steps must organizations take to be successful in their digital transformations?

MD: Usually the first step that I talk about when I’m meeting with leaders is more about … their vision. So often we talk about, “oh, we’ve got to change, we’ve got to stave off disruption, but we don’t really have a vision of where we want to be or what is the company that we want to be, that’s going to succeed in this digital era” … and have everyone in the organization believe it. We undervalue the need for a vision, and I think it’s even more important in this case.

And then you really need to look across your entire environment, every part of your organization, to achieve that vision and to really be relevant. And not just today, but for the next few decades as we go through these constant transformations that are happening so quickly.

Part of that is embracing new kinds of technology and new ways of using technology. And open source is critical to that, how you embrace open source because you can move faster, you’re able to collaborate, you’re gaining the benefit of these communities, and you’re using the latest and greatest thing in order to be the disruptor instead of the disruptee.

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